Newcomers keep rushing into Seattle—roughly 1,100 people each week since 2010. In 2016, more than 76,000 people moved to Seattle from out-of-state that year. The times aren’t as drastic as during the Klondike Gold Rush when Seattle doubled in population, but it’s up there.
Our housing market will remain a fiery seller’s market until the newcomer rate slows, but in the meantime… where are all these people coming from? What states keep losing thousands of people to the Emerald City?
Number one: California. The Golden State lost 16,155 people to the Evergreen State in 2016. If you ask five random newcomers where they came from, odds are one will have just left California. This isn’t a new phenomenon. California has been Seattle’s chief source of new residents for decades. Resentment against those new, suntanned faces was in fact, was the inspiration behind the Fremont Troll.
Texas’ size makes its #2 rank understandable, just like Oregon’s proximity. Florida comes as a surprise—geographically speaking, you can’t relocate much farther than Florida-to-Washington unless you fly over an ocean to do it.
What might stand out most in this data is the presence of India. Seattle might do most of its shipping with Canada, China, and Japan (India doesn’t even crack the top 10), but when it comes to the influx of people, India hold the top spot. One of the major reasons: tech recruiting, specifically by Microsoft and Amazon.
Seattle will continue to attract new people. It’s a beautiful state to live with a booming economy and a vibrant culture. There isn’t a question of whether growth will continue—only a question of which places will fuel that growth most.